Sunderland boss Steve Bruce says the club can be proud of their capture of Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham.

Bruce had to beat off ­competition from Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham to ­secure 18-year-old Ipswich striker Wickham and he ­believes Sunderland have landed one of the most ­exciting young prospects in the English game.

The fee for the Wickham could rise to £12m with add-ons, and takes Bruce's summer ­spending to around £20m.

Bruce said: "The signing of Connor Wickham is a ­statement of intent by ­Sunderland. It is a bold signing that shows we are building for the future. There were a lot of top clubs tracking him, but we were the ones who were prepared to meet Ipswich's valuation.

"It is also a testament to our progress as a club that Connor wanted to come here. I am sure he will be a big hit with the fans."

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